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By in Latest News Comments Off on Workplace Safety Tips

Workplace Safety Tips

June is National Safety Month. The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association along with our partner Illinois Casualty Company offers the following tips to help owners and employees with safety in Pennsylvania bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants to prevent injuries and unnecessary time off from work healing.

Burn Prevention

  • Be Familiar with Fire Extinguishers – Know where all the fire extinguishers are located, as well as how to use them. Fire prevention is also burn prevention.
  • Watch Pots and Pans – Assume that all pots and pans are hot when you encounter them. Don’t overfill them either.
  • Use Caution with Hot Oil – Never carry or move oil containers when the oil is hot or on fire. Additionally, be very careful when placing anything in hot oil.
  • Do Not Stretch Over Heat – Don’t reach over a stove or grill. Be aware of what you’re doing and where you’re at in the kitchen at all times.
  • Use Oven Mitts – Use oven mitts or long gloves when handling anything hot or around the stove.
  • Be Aware of Handles – Carefully place all pots and pans so handles do not stick out. If anyone bumps into a handle and the pan falls, this could cause a bad burn or other injury.

Knives and Cutting

  • Use a Cutting Board – A cutting board provides a stable surface and is designed for use with knives. Plates or countertops don’t offer the same advantages.
  • Use the Right Knife – Not all knives are created equal. Trying to chop an onion with a butter knife is not a good idea. Size up the job and choose the right knife.
  • Keep Knives Sharpened – Dull knives need more force to cut into food, which could lead to a slip and cut of the finger. Keep them sharp to make the job easier and safer.
  • Cut in the Right Direction – Always cut away from your body. If the knife slips, this lowers the risk of an injury.
  • Carry Knife Properly – Carry only one knife at a time and keep the tip pointed down at your side. This prevents hurting yourself or someone else if you drop the knife or run into a coworker.
  • Keep Knives Visible – Knives are hazardous, especially if someone doesn’t know one is there. Make sure the knives aren’t covered up with other items and that coworkers are aware of where they are placed.

Meat Slicers

  • Use Guards and Glides – Wear cut resistant gloves while using a meat slicer and use the provided guards and glides. Make sure everything is in the proper position.
  • Use Proper Settings – Just like chopping ingredients by hand, size up the task to determine the proper slicer settings. Slicing something too thin can lead to a higher injury risk.
  • Never Reach Across the Blade – This one is simple: never reach across the meat slicer blade. This carries too high of an injury risk.
  • Keep Both Hands Visible – Along with never reaching across the blade, keep both hands visible during use of the slicer to lower injury risk and eliminate any confusion.
  • Turn Off After Use – Turn the slicer off after use and set it to zero. Don’t risk forgetting and leaving it turned on.
  • Unplug When Cleaning – Unplug the slicer before cleaning it. After it has been cleaned, make sure all guards and safety devices are put back in place.

Preventing Back Injuries

  • Teach Proper Lifting Techniques – Many employee injuries can be prevented if they know how to properly lift something heavy. Make tips available and share them regularly as a reminder.
  • Place Objects Off the Floor – Employees can spare their backs a lot of strain by not having objects on the floor to be lifted. Use shelves, cabinets, and other storage.
  • Raise or Lower Shelves – Try to keep shelving in a convenient location for most employees to minimize bending or straining. Raise or lower shelves accordingly.
  • Use Carts – Have carts available to minimize lifting and carrying heavy items for larger distances.
  • Ask for Help – Tell your employees to ask for help when needing to life something heavy. Encourage them not to try picking something up if they aren’t sure it will be safe for them.
  • Have a Lifting Plan – Explain the importance of planning your moves. Size up the object, clear a path, and determine whether you need help. Offer help to others if they are lifting something.
  • Listen to Your Body – It’s of utmost importance that employees know not to strain to lift something. They should set the item down and ask for help if it’s too heavy to lift on their own.
  • Minimize Hazards – When moving a heavy item from the kitchen to the patio, for example, make sure a path is clear and that any hazards are addressed.
  • Work on Coordination – Proper coordination and balance can make all the difference in minimizing back pain and injuries. This is especially important when carrying trays or piles of plates.

Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liability insurance products. Qualifying PLBTA Members can save up to 10% on their business owners and liquor liability insurance. To find out more about these insurance programs and to locate an agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Pennsylvania’s Official Summer Adult Cocktail of 2024 declared by PaTaverns, PaClubs

Pennsylvania’s Official Summer Adult Cocktail of 2024 declared by PaTaverns, PaClubs

Pennsylvania-based distillery turns official drink into fundraiser to benefit rare diseases

(Harrisburg, Pa. / May 2, 2024) Two leading statewide liquor industry associations are joining forces this year to declare Pennsylvania’s Official Summer Adult Cocktail of 2024, while one Pennsylvania-based distillery says they’ll use the official drink to raise funds to benefit those suffering from rare diseases.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PLBTA) along with the Pennsylvania Federation of Fraternal and Social Organizations (PFFSO), both based in Harrisburg, named the Watermelon Crush as Pennsylvania’s Official Summer Adult Cocktail of 2024. In the previous two years, the official drink was the Orange Crush and the Bloody Mary.

“We’ve named some tasty drinks that Pennsylvania adults have enjoyed since our state’s official summer cocktail program started,” said Chuck Moran, executive director of the PLBTA. “We hope citizens across the state will try a Watermelon Crush this summer while enjoying time with family and friends.”

Ted Mowatt, executive director of the PFFSO said, “We’re declaring a refreshing adult drink as the state’s official summer cocktail that I know Pennsylvanians will enjoy, especially as the summer temperatures climb.”

Both Mowatt and Moran urge bar and club patrons to ask their bartenders for a Watermelon Crush this summer, and are encouraging their Members to put this drink on their summer drink menus.

Raising Funds For Rare Diseases

Meanwhile, Holla Spirits, based in York County, has agreed to make a donation to Uplifting Athletes for every bottle of their watermelon lollipop-flavored vodka sold to a bar or club this summer to make the official drink, or ordered online directly from consumers.

Patrick Shorb, founder of Holla Spirits and a rare disease survivor, says for him this is an opportunity to work on an issue close to his heart. The Penn State grad says he’s thankful for past care he received and is delighted his company can help raise funds for Uplifting Athletes.

“Every year, as part of our mission, Holla Spirits works to find ways to assist those facing life-changing illnesses,” said Shorb. “A diagnosis of a rare disease is shocking and scary to the patient and the patient’s family. The more we can do to raise funds for research and patient assistance the better.”

Both Moran and Mowatt say that it’s great to see how the official summer adult cocktail can be turned into a fundraiser. They challenge other distilleries to do the same.

Rob Long, executive director of Uplifting Athletes, knows how life changing a rare disease can be. The former Syracuse punter with a high likelihood of playing in the NFL saw his life change after being diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

“There’s so much work to be done to fight rare diseases and help those who just had their world turned upside down,” said Long. “It’s certainly reassuring that there are many caring individuals and businesses that step up to the plate to play a role in fighting this battle.”

Uplifting Athletes is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 that harnesses the power of sport to build a community that invests in the lives of the more than 30 million people impacted by rare diseases in America. Since its inception, Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $9 million by engaging athletes to positively impact the rare disease community through driving action, awareness, and funding research. To learn more about Uplifting Athletes, visit


Watermelon Crush Recipe
1.5 oz vodka (using Holla Watermelon Lollipop Vodka will result in a donation being made to Uplifting Athletes)
.5 oz Triple Sec
Equal parts watermelon juice and lemon lime soda

By in Latest News Comments Off on Secrets to Lower Liquor Liability Insurance Premiums

Secrets to Lower Liquor Liability Insurance Premiums

Howard Beck

By Howard Beck, CPCU, AU
Chief Underwriting Officer
Illinois Casualty Company

The liquor liability line of the insurance business has always been difficult.  Many carriers are reluctant to offer this product and even fewer are willing to make a commitment to it.  Since COVID, plaintiff’s attorneys have become increasingly creative and aggressive while juries cooperate with head scratching awards.  This combination of factors has caused a few traditional liquor liability carriers to withdraw from certain states or from offering liquor liability insurance completely.  The situation has reached a point in some states where bar owners are closing their doors because they can’t obtain insurance or afford the limited options that are available (e.g., South Carolina).

As the challenges increase across the country, license holders grow increasingly frustrated and feel that the situation is totally out of their control.  They actually have more control than they think if they are willing to view risk management differently.  With this mindset, they can control, and even lower, their liquor liability insurance premiums.

So, what does this mean for you, your employees, and your business? Here are some considerations on how to take control of your liquor liability insurance costs.

We work in an industry where people drink and often drive.  Sometimes those customers get into accidents, and innocent people get hurt.  When that happens, the insurance company takes over, investigates, applies the policy to the law, and strives for the most favorable financial outcome.

The best way to control the cost of liquor liability insurance is to do everything possible to prevent claims.

The next best way is to do everything possible to enable the insurance company to defend you.

How do you minimize the chance of a liquor liability claim?

  • Make a true commitment to responsible serving!
  • Train your staff repeatedly and consistently.
  • Create a culture among your staff to recognize signs of intoxication and collectively cut off service effectively.

If there is a claim, how can you help the insurance company defend you?

  • Invest in security cameras and long-term storage of recorded images.
    • Plaintiff’s attorneys will paint a very different picture of what happened.
    • Video doesn’t lie.
  • Have documented procedures in place that detail your commitment to training your staff and not over-serving customers.
  • Have a reputation for running a good business.

Recently, ICC settled a claim involving a patron who slipped on the stairs and faceplanted in the landscaping, suffering a broken nose and some broken fingers.  The establishment was sued for negligence. The patron claimed that the stairs were unsafe and demanded $150,000 as compensation for his injuries.

Fortunately, the business saved a video recording of the incident, which showed the patron fumbling in his pocket for his keys and failing to watch where he was walking.  Prior to trial, the case was settled for less than 10% of the demand.  Having recorded images of the incident made a huge difference in the negotiations, final settlement, as well as the claims history for the insured.

Plaintiff’s attorneys go after the easy money.  Businesses that don’t make these commitments are the desired target.  Avoid the claims, but if you have one, do everything possible for the insurance carrier to properly defend you and minimize the impact.

There are resources available to you through ICC or the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association.  We are here to help. Contact the Association or your agent for more information.


Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor for liquor and business liability insurances. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. To find out more about these insurance programs and to locate an agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on PLBTA Testimony: Gaming In Taverns

PLBTA Testimony: Gaming In Taverns

The following testimony was provided on March 26, 2024, by Jim DeLisio in front of the Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee. Mr. DeLisio is vice president of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association and president of the York County Tavern Association. He is the owner of the Race Horse Tavern in Thomasville, Pa.


Chairman Kail, Representative Diamond, members of the Committee, good morning. I’m Jim DeLisio, owner of the Race Horse Tavern in Thomasville, York County. I’m also Vice President of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association as well as President of the York County Tavern Association.

With me is Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Chuck will be available to help answer questions afterwards.

Let me begin by thanking you for inviting the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to testify today. In the past I’ve enjoyed speaking with this committee on other issues so I’m humbled to be invited back.

Today, we’ll be talking about gaming in taverns with an emphasis on skill games. Gaming in general is a topic that I’ve testified in front of other committees in recent years, and I want everyone here to know that my establishment is one of a few Pennsylvania bars that has an active tavern gaming license. In fact, a license search conducted on March 11, 2024, shows there are only 39 of us with one.

For the sake of comparison, the most recent annual report from the PLCB shows there are slightly more than 11,200 R and H licensees in the state that could be eligible for a tavern gaming license. If you do the math, that’s about one-third of one percent.

As background, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association was established in 1941 and today represents small business bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants throughout the state. Our perspective comes from the so-called “mom-and-pop” businesses that own either an R, H, or E liquor license. For the most part, we are your local bars, taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants. We do not actively recruit large chains, grocery stores, or convenience stores that have R licenses.

Based on past Membership studies, about 63 percent of our member’s business is alcohol sales and 37% of sales are from food. Our average member employs about 16 individuals including the owner and family members. They serve less than 4,000 customers every month. If you count the chairs and barstools, throughout my Member establishments, you’ll find less than 100 per establishment.

The Tavern Association has a general position on gaming. We believe our Members should be allowed to offer legal forms of gaming in their establishments to entertain their patrons. That extends from tavern gaming to any other forms of gambling, including VGTs and video skill games.

As you know, small business bars have been hit hard for about the past 8 years. Our financial struggles began in 2017 when Act 166 of 2016 officially went into effect. That act stole an exclusive right that bar owners had … the right to sell six-packs and growlers to go. Act 166 gave beer distributors the right to sell to consumers any amount including amounts below a case down to a growler.

That in combination with other alcohol sale changes through Act 39 drove a stake through the heart of small business bars. Our membership studies show that during that time, 85 percent of our Members saw a decrease in beer sales. And, 30 percent of our Members saw a decrease between 11 and 20 percent. That adds up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Clearly, small business bars became collateral damage of Acts 39 and 166.

We know that was not the intent of the legislature when it passed those bills and Governor Wolf signed them into law. But, you need to know that past legislative actions seriously damaged many small business bars across the state and we hope to work with you to correct the situation.

With revenue dropping as a result of those Acts, bar owners began to look at other options to fill their income void and stay profitable. Bars were locked out of the opportunity to have VGTs in their establishments when truck stops got them. So VGTs were not a legal option, although we wish they were.

That’s when video skill gaming entered the picture – and at least for now, court decisions have declared them not to be slot machines.

I can’t tell you how many skill games are in Pennsylvania bars at this time. That data is not something we collect. Businesses that sell and distribute skill games should have data on how many they’ve put into Pennsylvania.

But I can tell you based upon conversations I’ve had with colleagues at other establishments and across the state, skill games filled at least part of the void. Those with skill games are using the profits to pay bills, upgrade establishments to compete with newer license types, or offer benefits to employees.

We certainly hope this legislature will take action soon to finally put to bed the debate on whether or not skill games are legal, and whether skill games and VGTs should be in Pennsylvania bars. We do, however, need to remember lessons from the past including those from tavern gaming and the current situation with skill games.

First, tavern gaming did not take off and the state did not generate the revenue that it had projected. As mentioned earlier a shockingly low number of licensed establishments chose to offer tavern gaming. Why? There’s little profit after taxes and payment of supplies. I can talk more about that during the Q&A.

Any legislation that you would write to allow skill games and VGTs in bars would need to be careful not to carry a high tax. Also there can’t be a small cut for the bars.

Second, the current distribution of skill games is questionable. Unlike VGTs in truck stops that are regulated and monitored, skill game distributors have put their machines in locations that are easily accessible to anyone including minors.

There are also issues related to security and safety of some locations where these machines have been placed. You probably saw recent news articles out of Philadelphia that indicate the city has taken initial steps to ban skill games. Apparently, players have been robbed after winning.

I’ll conclude by thanking you for the opportunity to represent small business bars, taverns and licensed restaurants today. Chuck and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time and in the future.

By in Latest News Comments Off on POS Scheme Sparks Significant Loss for Restaurant

POS Scheme Sparks Significant Loss for Restaurant

By Tawnya Dinh
Property Claims Representative
Illinois Casualty Company

In this industry, we are always amazed at the new methods criminals can devise to steal money! Recently, I handled an interesting claim that involved employee theft.

The employer’s POS machine had a tab called “On Account” that was not utilized by the business in its regular operations. An employee figured out that they could purchase gift cards “On Account”, then use those gift cards to pay for a customer’s cash order and pocket the cash.

The theft went on for many months and resulted in over $35,000 in stolen funds.

Interestingly, the theft was not detected by the business but was unveiled by the employee, who could not help but brag to a friend who also knew someone at the business. The employee was confronted and eventually confessed.

The business owner was unaware of the “On Account” tab. Once the employee’s theft was discovered, the owner immediately contacted their POS vendor to have the tab removed.

The employee turned out to have a lengthy history of prior criminal activity. This history went undiscovered due to a lack of background checks completed by the business. Unfortunately for the business owner, the Employee Dishonesty limit was insufficient to cover the extent of the theft.

In addition to the importance of having a full understanding of the components of the POS machine, this claim highlights how important it is to conduct background checks as part of your hiring process. With the current labor shortage, it may seem necessary to skip this step and get positions filled. Doing so could cost you and your business a lot more in the end.

Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liquor liability insurance. Learn more about ICC by clicking here.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Statement: Yes, Legalize, Regulate, and Expand Gaming Into PaTaverns But Learn From Past Mistakes First

Statement: Yes, Legalize, Regulate, and Expand Gaming Into PaTaverns But Learn From Past Mistakes First

VGTs and Skill Games will help family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants hurt from losing exclusive six-pack sales

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. The statement concerns Governor Shapiro’s 2024 budget address and gaming expansion into bars.

(Harrisburg, February 6, 2024) Today, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro in his annual budget plan indicated his interest to legalize, regulate, and tax skill games that can be found throughout the Keystone State.

Specifically, his plan calls for “A tax of 42 percent on the daily gross gaming revenue from electronic gaming machines that involve an element of skill and are regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.” (, page 31).

Legislative leaders from all four caucuses appear to indicate some interest in addressing the skill games issue that has been lingering and has faced legal challenges.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PaTaverns), founded in 1941, believes the time has come for it to be resolved. Our Association supports gaming expansion into Pennsylvania’s bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants including video gaming terminals (VGTs) and skill games.

But, let’s learn a lesson from the current tavern gaming laws that have been a disaster with so few participating. The tax structure on those games just isn’t attractive, and is a major reason why there is an extremely low number of active tavern gaming licenses … and thus tax revenue from those games. So a 42% tax might not work.

However, there might be a nugget in all of this that could create a win-win situation for Pennsylvania taxpayers and Pennsylvania tavern owners.

It’s very evident that Pennsylvania’s family-owned taverns have struggled since the state took away their exclusive right to sell six-packs of beer to go. A past survey of our members clearly shows how the expansion of six-packs-to-go sales several years ago hurt small businesses bars throughout the state.

Legalizing gaming expansion into bars through VGTs and skill games could help that situation while generating new revenue for the state. There already is precedent through tavern gaming laws that allows gaming in bars where such activities can be closely monitored, regulated, and taxed.

So let’s create a win-win situation for Pennsylvania taxpayers and family-owned PaTaverns by wisely expanding gaming via VGTs and skill games in bars.

PaTaverns thanks Governor Shapiro for raising this issue and supports gaming expansion of VGTs and skill games into Pennsylvania’s bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants.


#     #     #


The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is the statewide political voice for small business taverns and licensed restaurants. Based in Harrisburg, the Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons. To learn more, visit or follow the Association on Twitter via @TavernPA.

By in Latest News Comments Off on 6 Sweet Ways To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant

6 Sweet Ways To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant

By Daniel Rivkees
SpotOn Powered by POS Philly

QR codes are a great tool to help restaurants grow their business, decrease costs, improve guest experience, and streamline restaurant operations. They may have been a major hype during COVID, but QR codes still have their place as an incredibly effective tool for the hospitality industry. More restaurants are utilizing QR codes to bust lines, reduce hardware, improve satisfaction, and increase feedback. Let’s take a look at how QR codes can help your restaurant.

Line Busting
For QSR concepts, place QR codes at the entrance of your restaurant. Accompany the QR codes with signage that prompts customers to skip the line by scanning the QR code to order. Once customers scan the code, they are taken to your online ordering page. Customers can then order through OLO instead of waiting in line. Now, less customers have to wait in line, resulting in increased satisfaction and less work for your front-of-house.

Reduce Hardware
Restaurants may debate whether self-order kiosks are better than QR codes. One reason QR codes are better? Reduced hardware cost and error points. Creating QR codes costs nothing to restaurants other than printing them out. Kiosks can cost a lot of money that a restaurant may not have capital for. Plus, additional hardware can lead to additional failure points. Faulty plugs, switches, and outlets can halt kiosk service. QR code ordering results in less point of failure compared to kiosks.

Open Tab Feature
Some point-of-sale systems have an open tab feature that allows customers to order without a server. With open tab, customers place the order for their first item, enter their payment information, and can continue to order until checkout. At checkout, customers can prompt to close their order and the payment is processed.

A feature like this can help create a decentralized restaurant. Staff can now focus on bringing out food and drink items faster rather than spending time taking orders. Additionally, customers on average upsell themselves more often then when servers try to. This can result in increased sales.

Increase Table Turnover
Using QR code ordering, again, can decrease time servers spend on going back and forth to tables. With reduced time spent on tending to customers, table turnover now has an opportunity to increase. Less time being spent tables means a higher chance for customers to close out more quickly. For busy restaurants, speed of service is the name of the game. More customers served faster can result in new customers being seated quicker. Increasing table turnover by 2 tables an hour with a $50.00 check average during 4 peak hours 3 days a week can mean $62,400.00 in new revenue per year.

Receive Google Reviews
There are other great ways to use QR codes in your business. Receiving Google Reviews should be a priority for every restaurant. Restaurants with hundreds of Google Reviews are more trustworthy than ones with a few. Create a QR code that sends customers to your Google Business Profile and ask them to leave a review. This can be programmed at the footer of receipts, the entrance of your restaurant, and on menus.

Follow On Social Media
Prompt customers to follow you on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Create QR codes that drive people to your social media profiles. Keep them up to date with specials, events, and new menu items. Customers that interact with your business online are more likely to convert into recurring or new business.

Editor’s Note: POS Philly is a preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Contact POS Philly to implement QR codes properly throughout your restaurant. Increase revenue. Decrease costs. Improve guest satisfaction. Streamline restaurant operations. Their team is there to help you with local SpotOn Restaurant POS service and support in the NJ, PA, DE region. To learn more visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

By Annie Stontz, Illinois Casualty Company

Axe throwing has become an increasingly popular activity, and many venues have begun catering to this interest. As most of these businesses combine the activity with serving food and alcohol, Illinois Casualty Company’s Underwriters have been receiving questions about whether there is coverage for this.

Most people could understand our concern over the risk that comes with combining alcohol consumption and axe throwing. As the activity has become more popular, we are seeing an increase in mobile axe throwing businesses that offer to bring the sport to a bar or restaurant.

If your bar/restaurant hires a mobile axe throwing business that can provide proof of insurance, will that be enough to protect your business?

There are a few things to consider before offering this activity at your bar/restaurant.

  • Is this a one-time event or will it be a regular recurring activity?
  • Will the activity take place on your premises or be contained and controlled by the axe throwing vendor?
  • If this is a recurring event and your bar/restaurant has facilities in place, what controls are there to prevent axe throwing at times other than when the vendor is present to supervise?
  • Does the vendor’s current GL coverage have limits equal to or exceeding that of your policy?

It is highly recommended that you have your attorney review the contract with the vendor. The agreement should clearly make the vendor liable for all injuries resulting from any axe throwing activity and contain “hold harmless” language for your business.

Even if all the boxes are checked, there can still be scenarios where a suit brings your business into the claim. The allegations for an “injury” can be based on negligence, intoxication, or both. The injured party can be a participant or a spectator.

How the claim or suit is presented determines which policy applies and whether you can tender the defense to the vendor. As with many situations like this, the more serious the “injury”, the more aggressively creative plaintiffs get, and the more difficult it is to remove your business from liability.

Understanding the issues will help you determine the extent of the risk you are willing to accept.


Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liability insurance products. Qualifying PLBTA Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. For more information about insuring your business with ICC, visit and talk to an ICC agent in your area.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Decoration and Electrical Safety for the Holiday Season

Decoration and Electrical Safety for the Holiday Season

Photo by Dietmar Rabich, Wikimedia Commons

by Vince Mayer, Loss Control Specialist
Illinois Casualty Company

Many business owners believe that putting up decorations will create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will draw in customers and increase profits throughout the holiday season. Until the 19th Century, it was customary to attach small candles to tree branches with pins or melted wax. Thankfully, this tradition (and extreme fire hazard) is no longer popular. There are still a number of risks that come with putting up lights, garland, trees, and inflatable decorations in and around your business. Here are a few tips to help you decorate safely this year and decrease your risk of electrical fires.

  • Plan ahead for a safe holiday season – make one person responsible for overseeing the decorating at your business.
  • Most cities do not allow the use of real trees, wreaths, or decorations made from them to be used inside commercial buildings because of their extreme fire hazard. Likewise, electric lights should not be placed on metal trees as there could be a potential shock hazard. Check with your local authorities on their requirements before starting your decorating.
  • Check all lighting cords and light sockets for any damaged or frayed wires and/or broken or damaged light sockets and discard them.
  • Check all lights and decorations to see if they are approved for outdoor use or indoor use only. If you are purchasing new lights or decorations, make sure they are UL approved. Never use interior type items outdoors.
  • Keep use of extension cords to a minimum and only use the appropriate listed extension cords for exterior use.
  • Follow the instructions on connecting consecutive lighting sets to avoid exceeding the maximum allowed.
  • Do not plug all of your decorations into the same outlet to avoid overloading the circuit.
  • Turn off or unplug lights and decorations when they are not in use.
  • Keep all cords off floors and walkways where possible. Walking on cords breaks down the insulation on the wires leading to short circuits and potential fires. Never tape cords to floors or hide under carpets or mats. Do not run cords across sidewalks or steps to prevent tripping.
  • Never run cords through doorways or windows where the cords can be pinched, as this can significantly damage the cords and may lead to fires.
  • All decorations should be kept away from any heat sources and must not block or cover any exit signage or emergency lighting. Keep exits and stairways clear at all times.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Editor’s Note. Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor for businessowners and liquor liability insurance for the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. To locate an ICC agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Taverns Tip: Are You Using Your POS for Marketing?

Taverns Tip: Are You Using Your POS for Marketing?

By Daniel Rivkees
POS Philly

Point-Of-Sale systems are a vital component of any bar’s operations. POS has taken the role of bar’s central nervous system. This is where voluntary and involuntary commands are hailed from the front-of-house to back-of-house and beyond. Over the past several years, POS developers have augmented their products’ range. One of the most important developments: turning a POS system into a marketing machine.

POS developers are releasing marketing tools to reach customers. This includes integrated email platforms, SMS text marketing, and digital review management. Bar owners need to think of their POS system as central to their marketing rather than a simple order taking device. POS marketing tools can centralize efforts and streamline campaigns.

Staying in front of customers is a top priority for any business, especially bars. With so much competition, barkeepers need to focus on keeping their loyal customers coming back and how to incentivize new ones to return. Promoting deals like happy hour with in-restaurant posters is one way of accomplishing this. There are better, modern ways of marketing your business through your POS system.

Email Marketing  
Reaching customers via email is possible in more POS software packages. Instead of using a costly 3rd party email platform, utilize your POS system’s email marketing tools. Using in-house, non 3rd party software makes managing email campaigns easier. A POS email marketing platform can cut email marketing management time in half and reduce costs as well.

It’s legitimate to ask, “how can I collect emails for marketing?” Great point. Products like SpotOn POS can collect emails from a few places.

  1. Require guests using a guest Wi-Fi access point to input email information.
  2. Use emails from customer loyalty program.
  3. Ask customers to subscribe to an email list.
  4. Collect emails from online ordering.

SMS Text Marketing 

Let’s take the next step and discuss text messaging. Customers are even more likely to return to a bar if they interact with text message marketing. Texting customers with a short code (six digits) or long code (ten digits) phone number with deals and specials can incentivize recurring business. Use text message marketing to let loyalty customers know about exclusive deals. Notify customers of upcoming live music, beer specials, and more.

Digital Review Management   

Another major way to use a POS system for marketing is syncing digital reviews. First impressions can be everything, especially to new potential customers. Answering and responding to Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews can mean bringing in or turning away new business. SpotOn POS has a digital review module to sync major review platforms into its back-office software. This can help cut down on time managing reviews by reducing logins.

Are you asking, “Is my point-of-sale helping bring in new customers?” See how your POS provider can help you utilize its tools to create new revenue. Contact us at POS Philly if you would like to explore ways to reach more customers. We’re here to help all PA Taverns members 365 days a year.

Editor’s Note: POS Philly is a preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.